soubrette definition by Webster's New World
- in a play, light opera, etc., the role of a lady's maid, esp. one involved in intrigue, or of any pretty, flirtatious, or frivolous young woman
- an actress who plays such roles
Origin: French ; from ProvenÃ§al soubreto ; from soubret, affected, sly ; from soubra, to put aside, exceed ; from Classical Latin superare, to be above: see super-
soubrette definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- a. A saucy, coquettish, intriguing maidservant in comedies or comic opera.b. An actress or a singer taking such a part.
- A young woman regarded as flirtatious or frivolous.
Origin: French, from Provençal soubreto, feminine of soubret, conceited, from soubra, to leave aside, from Old Provençal sobrar, to be excessive, from Latin superāre, from super, above; see uper in Indo-European roots.